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AMMAN: The World Bank Group and Jordan’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation launched a five-year partnership framework on Monday, the aim of which is to help Jordan achieve inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth while addressing the pressing issue of job creation, particularly for young people and women in the country.

Jordan continues to face a number of challenges, including a decade of sluggish economic growth, an unemployment rate of 21.3 percent, and a rate of participation of women in the workforce of only about 15 percent.

The new partnership agreement is designed to help the country leverage its human capital and incorporate climate action into its development strategy, the Jordan News Agency reported. It focuses on three high-level objectives: stimulation of private sector job creation through investment and sector-specific reforms; improved outcomes in human capital through enhancement of education, healthcare and social protections; and bolstering resilience and sustainability in essential sectors such as water, energy and urban development.

Jean-Christophe Carret, the World Bank’s country director for the Middle East, said the framework will aid ongoing efforts by Jordan to reform and modernize its economy and public sector, and that it underlines the significance of governance, digital transformation, and support for Jordan’s pivotal role as a host nation for refugees.

The partnership will draw on the collective expertise of the bank’s constituent organizations, officials said, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. The aim is to mobilize a mix of private, green and concessional financing that aligns with Jordan’s development goals.

The World Bank said it has carried out extensive consultations with a wide range of Jordanian stakeholders, as a result of which two initiatives worth $576 million have been approved to support the initial phase of implementation of the framework, focusing on enhancement of public services, digital transformation, and removal of barriers to the participation of women in the economy.

The bank said the partnership framework builds on its robust portfolio in Jordan that has expanded significantly over the past decade. It said its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development currently supports 18 projects in Jordan with a total value of $4.1 billion, while the International Finance Corporation’s investment program has doubled since 2010 to $538 million. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency’s support for Jordan is its third-largest for any country in the Middle East and North Africa region, worth $545.8 million.

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